Iijima and I have discussed aligning ourselves our bodies our homes our everything to divulging the path out of a selfish world bent on destruction. In "PANTHERING" Iijima shows a path, lit clear.
Illusion replacing illusion ad infinitum
Ever the while spinning
Found in the town landfill, o so beautiful
Neuromuscular system was the least bit rubbed by acid rain
Ready to be programmed in a plangent way
Charge it up differential wax figure
So much trash to be recycled
The black fur coat I was grew forlorn
I couldn't hide in the snow
Domestication's velocity stunned
A docile patch of seeming calm
These yellow eyes can't lie
Like war rooms exuding perjury
This was a difficult year to choose just one poem for this award. There are so many amazing books, and we're living in a rich time for poetry, and in that a space for poetry unflinchingly awake. Brenda Ijima's poem "PANTHERING" strikes a loud chord for a new and fearless voice. You can find this poem in its entirety in her new book IF NOT METAMORPHIC, which I highly recommend. I love this book, cover to cover!